The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Fed raises rates again, Tishman Speyer launches co-working brand & more

By Maya Rajamani | September 28, 2018 08:00AM

Clockwise from top left: Fed raises interest rates by 0.25 percent, Tishman Speyer is launching a co-working brand that will expand to several cities, Five MLSs from five states will pool their resources via a new data application, and Lawyer tries to use Zillow to prove Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s innocence.

Fed raises interest rates for the third time this year
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rates by a quarter percent — the third increase this year. The hike brought interest rates to between 2 and 2.5 percent, and lending rates for commercial and residential loans are expected to increase as a result. The Fed, which is expected to raise interest rates once more by the end of the year, said the increases are “consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity [and] strong labor market conditions,” in addition to inflation. The latest increase, however, is unlikely to please President Donald Trump, who last month told attendees at a fundraiser that he wasn’t happy about the rising rates. [TRD]

Tishman Speyer is launching a co-working brand that will expand to several cities
Tishman Speyer is throwing its hat into the co-working ring. The developer is launching its own co-working brand that will compete with companies like WeWork, the New York Post first reported. Studio, as Tishman’s brand will be known, is slated to launch in New York at the beginning of November, and will eventually expand to cities including Chicago, Beverly Hills, Boston and Washington D.C., as well as to Germany. “Having our own brand and running it ourselves enables us to serve our tenants in a more bespoke way,” a Tishman spokesperson said. Tishman follows in the footsteps of landlords like Silverstein Properties that have launched their own co-working brands. [TRD]

Lawyer tries to use Zillow to prove Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s innocence
A former law clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia tried to use Zillow to prove that the professor accusing embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens could have actually been attacked by a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Inman first reported. On Twitter Ed Whelan posted Zillow floor plans of a home he identified as the house where assault is alleged to have taken place and maintained they proved Kavanaugh’s innocence. But after his tweets came under fire, he apologized. “I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. [TRD]

Multiple Listing Services in 5 states will pool their resources via a new data application
Multiple listing services from California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Oregon and Utah are pooling their resources via a new data application called MLS Aligned LLC. The application will offer new tools for MLS users, including an application programming interface that will let vendors get real-time listing data from members, according to Inman. Chris Carrillo, the CEO of Metro MLS in Wisconsin, told the outlet that the new application will “fundamentally change how data is moving from Point A to Point B to Point C in some ways.” It wasn’t immediately clear how much it will cost to use the service, but Carrillo said the application is “intended to be inclusive,” adding that it “is not intended to separate the have and the have-nots.” [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Kushner Companies isn’t the only New York City developer that didn’t disclose rent-stabilized tenants on filings
While Kushner Companies has made headlines for falsifying construction filings, the firm isn’t the only developer that’s filed permits lacking disclosure of rent-stabilized tenants. An investigation carried out by TRD found that the practice is a fairly common one among landlords hoping to avoid scrutiny after they’ve filed permit applications with the New York City Department of Buildings. Brooklyn-based Malek Management, Solil Management, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village owners Blackstone Group and Ivanhoé Cambridge were among the developers that didn’t file accurate permits, TRD learned. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called it a “citywide problem,” noting that the council is “working on legislation to address this issue.” [TRD]

Head of Palm Beach real estate brokerage sells mansion for nearly $27M
The head of a Palm Beach real estate brokerage has parted ways with his multimillion dollar lakefront estate. Lawrence Moens, who owns Lawrence A. Moens Associates Inc., sold the mansion to Ron and Cindy McMackin, the respective chairman/CEO and president of engineering subcontracting firm Pan-Pacific Mechanical, for $26.65 million. The 10,539-square-foot mansion has five bedrooms and the 1.5-acre property features a pool, an outdoor fireplace and a dock with 252 feet of water frontage. Moens has represented clients ranging from billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who once bought an estate from President Donald Trump. [TRD]

Developers in Los Angeles are shelling out hundreds of thousands to millions to bypass zoning codes
Developers in Los Angeles are spending anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on development agreements that allow them to bypass zoning codes. Most packages proposed by developers are around $100,000 or $200,000 but others reach eight figures. The developers a Fashion District mega-complex even agreed to $10 million benefits package — although Los Angeles City Planning Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson noted that that package is among the largest the City Council has overseen. Some developers say the city is asking for more and more as time goes on. “They suspect that you can handle a lot more than you really can because the market is strong,” Claridge Properties CEO Ricardo Pagan said. [TRD]

Department that runs Illinois’ real estate licensing system will no longer accept paper applications
Real estate professionals applying for licenses and certifications with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will have to submit their applications online, starting Monday. The real estate licensing system is going paperless at the beginning of next week in an effort to expedite the process, the department said. More than 73,000 professionals will now have to submit their applications via the department’s online portal, including brokers, leasing agents and other workers in the industry. [TRD]

Racetrack operator sues Wynn Resorts over Boston casino competition
A Massachusetts racetrack operator has hit Wynn Resorts and its former chief executive with a lawsuit claiming Wynn won a competition to run Encore Boston Harbor, the only Boston area casino, by rigging a referendum. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse claims Wynn suppressed voter turnout for a casino referendum in the county where it had hoped to construct the casino, among other allegations. Though Wynn won the vote to operate Encore Boston Harbor, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission still hasn’t decided whether it will actually be able to. In a statement, Wynn Resorts maintained the racetrack operator’s claims were “frivolous and clearly without foundation.” [TRD]

Former DC Cushman & Wakefield exec’s lawsuit claims race and gender-based discrimination
A former Cushman & Wakefield executive who worked out of the firm’s Washington D.C. office says the firm discriminated against her and ultimately fired her because of her race and gender. Nicole Urquhart-Bradley, who is black, filed a discrimination lawsuit in D.C. federal court on Tuesday saying the company used her to prove that it was diverse while discriminating against her, including by failing to give her the global title that her white male predecessor had. “In the age of MeToo, Cushman & Wakefield is facing a new world, where the old boys’ network behaviors will no longer be tolerated,” her attorney David Sanford said. Urquhart-Bradley’s lawsuit is seeking $30 million in damages. [TRD]